you can make whatever they teach you yours. yeah, your own flavor. >> reporter: students like mimi >> i've only been dancing for two years and people here have i come to tu and i'm like, "oh wow, she has curves like me." somebody in the company, she has a curve, i have a curve and their skin is like mine. and i really understand if they can make it, there's no excuse for me. >> the idea is that as performers, as artists, as students that we are representing our audience, our community, the people, the watchers, and my gosh, it's deep but it's so, it's kind of simple for us you know? >> reporter: less simple is managing a dance company and school, especially raising scholarship funds needed by many young students. tu dance's annual budget is just $450,000.